A psychometric evaluation of a measure of emotional intelligence for university students
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Business leaders are increasingly coming to recognise that there is more to business success than technical and cognitive competence. Personnel leadership is proving to be critical for business bottom-line achievements considering that most business outcomes are achieved through human capital. Emotional intelligence can be used to the advantage of organisations by developing an emotional intelligence audit. The objective of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the Emotional Intelligence Scale (SEIS) developed by Schutte, Malouff, Hall, Haggerty, Cooper, Golden and Dornheim (1998) for Economic Science students from a higher education institution in the North-West Province, South Africa. The psychometric soundness of the SEIS was tested. The general objective of the research is to standardise a psychometric instrument of emotional intelligence and determine the validity of The Schutte Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (SEIS) (Schutte, et al., 1998). Specific objectives include the conceptualisation of the importance of a standardised psychometric instrument of emotional intelligence in South Africa; the conceptualisation of the nature and evolvement of emotional intelligence measurements in general; determining the validity and internal consistency of the SEIS; and establishing whether any possible group differences in terms of biographical data exist in emotional intelligence. A valid and reliable measure of emotional intelligence could be valuable in the organisation to identify specific EI needs that could be developed through the implementation of EI development programmes. In this context a standardised psychometric instrument of EI could be of use in organisations during the training and development of employees. A cross-sectional method with an availability sample (N = 341) from Economical Science students from a higher education institution was used. The results supported a six-factor model of emotional intelligence, consisting of Positive Affect, Emotion-Others, Happy Emotions, Emotions-Own, Non-verbal Emotions and Emotional Management. The multi-analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine differences in terms of biographical data. The results indicated significant differences between gender and language groups. African language groups compared with Afrikaans and English language groups experienced higher levels of positive affect. Females compared with males experienced higher levels of understanding of the emotions of other people. Recommendations for future research were made.